Three Essential Steps for Vulnerability Remediation

Oct 16, 2021

Vulnerability remediation involves the fixing or patching of cybersecurity weaknesses that are detected in applications, networks and enterprise assets. Before, vulnerability remediation was a manual procedure. Nowadays, it’s more automated with advanced threat intelligence, data science and predictive algorithms assisting security professionals to know which vulnerabilities should be remediated first.

Taking a risk-based method encourages DevOps, IT professionals and IT administrators to work more efficiently and target the vulnerabilities that pose the biggest threat to the organization.

Is Vulnerability Remediation Essential?

Efficient and effective vulnerability remediation is very essential. With the increase in the volume of IT infrastructures and data becoming more complex and intricate, vulnerabilities are increasing. 

According to the National Vulnerability Database, since 2016, the number of common vulnerabilities and exploits (CVE) observed in networks, applications and devices have increased. Hackers are using the opportunity presented by the increasing number of these weak spots.

This is why vulnerability remediation is essential. Remediating vulnerabilities assists in reducing the risk of breaches, interruptions in operations and denial of service attacks. In today’s environment, reducing your attack surface and overall exposure is essential, especially since remote work is here to stay.

Why Do You Need a Vulnerability Management Process?

Vulnerabilities offer opportunities for attackers to enter your systems. Once they breach your system, they can steal data, abuse resources or deny access to services. If you don’t identify and patch vulnerabilities, you’re leaving the windows and doors open to attackers to enter your network.

A vulnerability management program offers organized strategies to assist you to evaluate and secure your network. Rather than ignoring vulnerabilities or risking unnoticed vulnerabilities, this procedure can assist you to conduct a comprehensive search. 

Vulnerability management tactics can assist you to ensure that vulnerabilities in your system have a short lifespan. It can also offer proof of due diligence if your network is compromised regardless of your efforts.

The Three Essential Steps of Vulnerability Remediation

When creating a vulnerability remediation process, there are many stages that need to be accounted for. By building these stages in your management procedure, this will ensure that no vulnerabilities are overlooked and that discovered ones are properly addressed. 

  1. Identify Vulnerabilities

    The initial step of the remediation process requires knowing which vulnerabilities may affect your systems. Once you know what vulnerabilities or the types of vulnerabilities you’re searching for, you can start recognizing the ones present.

    This stage uses threat vulnerability databases and intelligence information to guide your search. It also includes the use of vulnerability scanners to identify affected modules and create an inventory for use in patch management.

    Based on this stage, you want to create a complete map of your system which specifies where assets are, how the assets can be accessed and the systems that are now in place for protection. This map can be used to guide the analysis of vulnerabilities and ease remediation.

  2. Evaluate Vulnerabilities

    After all possible vulnerabilities in your system have been identified, you can start assessing the severity of threats through CVE detection. This assessment will help you know where to rank your security efforts and can help you find solutions to risks quicker.

    If you start remediating the most severe vulnerabilities, you can limit the chance that an attack will happen while securing the rest of your system. When the vulnerabilities are evaluated, there are many systems you can use to create the risk of a vulnerability that’s been exploited.

    One system used in evaluating vulnerabilities is the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS). This is a standardized system used by many vulnerability databases and researchers. CVSS assesses the level of vulnerability based on temporal traits, essential features and the specific effect of the vulnerability to your systems. The challenge with CVSS is that once a risk level is assigned, it won’t change. Therefore, it’s essential to include other factors from threat intelligence and your own business risk information to prioritize accurately.

  3. Remediate Vulnerabilities

    With a prioritized vulnerability management system implemented, you can start remediation efforts. In this stage, you can also increase monitoring or limit access to areas that are at risk. This can assist in preventing successful exploitation of vulnerabilities until the IT administrator is able to apply patches or increase protections.

    After vulnerabilities are addressed, ensure that you successfully verify the remediation. Penetration testing is essential for this because it can help you estimate the efficacy of your solution. Additionally, it can help to ensure that new vulnerabilities are not created during the remediation process.

Managing Vulnerabilities in Cyberspace

In order to effectively reduce cyber risk, remediation teams must understand the vulnerabilities that pose the biggest risk to their infrastructure. Risk-based vulnerability remediation can help to achieve this. 

Unlike other vulnerability remediation methods, risk-based vulnerability prioritization collects threat and vulnerability data and compares it with the organization's risk tolerance. 

The most advanced risk-based solutions simplify remediation by using cutting-edge automation technology. With predictive algorithms, advanced data science and real-time threat intelligence, they evaluate the relative risk of vulnerabilities more efficiently.


If you need a cybersecurity tool that can create strong vulnerability remediation solutions, choose Vicarius. Vicarius is a vulnerability management software that targets cybersecurity officers and operators, as well as IT managers and operators from the U.S. market. 

 

Photo by Jordan Christian on Unsplash

Written by

Kent Weigle

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